Published 30/11/23 12:34pm
Graduates turn dreams into reality with new theatre company
MGA alumni in the spotlight after creating new theatre company
ALUMNI from one of Scotland’s top performing arts academies have started their own theatre company following their recent graduation this summer.
David Gardner and Will Robertson had dreams of starting their own theatre company since meeting during their BA (Hons) in Acting at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, Edinburgh.
They are currently in the process of launching their theatre company, ‘Weegie Burgher’, which aims to amplify working class, LGBTQIA+ and disabled voices in theatre.
David Gardner said: “As part of the acting course, we devised our own work, through both improv and script creation, this is really when we both started to shine.”
“We had fun, and I think the most important part of any creative process is having fun in what you’re doing.
“Whilst being at MGA, we were given the tools to support ourselves in the industry once we graduated. So, once we finished, we knew it was time to make the next steps and felt prepared to pursue our dreams of starting our own company.”
“I’m thankful for my time at MGA and where it’s brought me today with the people that I know and the friends that I have. Had I not gone there, this never would have happened. I’m extremely grateful for the entire experience.”
Scottish working-class actors, David and Will faced challenges throughout their lives which inspired the creation of their new company.
After being diagnosed with Haemophilia A, a blood clotting disorder, David got arthritis in his ankle which stopped his musical theatre dreams in their tracks. This was a struggle for him that affected his career ambitions but found his passion for acting which gave him the motivation and drive to open Weegie Burgher.
Since the age of 12, Will was a young carer for his mum, who had always supported him in becoming an actor and, when she passed away in Will’s first year at university, MGA were very supportive.
David let Will move in with him, and they developed a very strong bond. Will’s background led him to write complicated and comedic pieces as, when he was looking after his mum and it got tough, the best thing he could do was laugh.
Both men felt it was important to create theatre that dealt with working-class stories, queer issues and disabled inequalities to showcase underrepresented voices.
As courses at MGA are employment-driven to help students strive in the performance industry, the Weegie Burgher creators left their studies feeling ready to break into the theatre industry with their own company.
Marcella Macdonald, Principal of MGA, said, “Will and David’s story is very inspiring, and I am proud that two of our talented alumni are following their dreams post-graduation.
“At MGA we pride ourselves on offering world-class training and performance opportunities throughout our programs, equipping our students with the skills they need to build and sustain successful careers in a highly competitive industry.
“We look forward to following David and Will’s careers and celebrating their future accomplishments.”
MGA is Scotland’s only fully accredited performing arts college, holding Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Council of Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT) and Imperial Society for the Teachers of Dance (ISTD) certifications.
David added: “One of the great things about training at MGA was the access to faculty. Having lecturers who are still practising is really inspiring. Many of them have had long careers, and they are well-connected. We really did get to learn from the best.”
Learn more about The MGA Academy and how to enrol for courses here: https://www.themgaacademy.com/apply